Erling Haaland is the name on everyone’s lips as Europe’s elite try to get their hands on the Borussia Dortmund and Norway sensation.
Haaland is already on the cusp of half a century of Bundesliga goals, having scored 49 in 49 league appearances since swapping Salzburg for Dortmund in January 2020.
It is a remarkable return – the 21-year-old has 70 goals in 69 games for the German club overall, only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (89 goals in 74 games) has a better return among players from Europe’s top-five leagues.
Haaland has always been a goalscorer.
Alf Ingve Berntsen spent more than eight years coaching Haaland, including several matches for Byrne’s first team in 2016 following the sudden departure of Gaute Larsen.
“He was the best from the first day. Scoring a lot, smiling a lot, training a lot,” Berntsen told Stats Perform as he recalled Haaland’s time at Byrne, where the pair worked together between the ages of eight to 16.
Haaland was part of a group of 40 talented youngsters coached by Berntsen at Bryne.
But Haaland – even playing with older kids – always stood out in a city with a population of just over 12,200 people on the southern shores of the lake Froylandsvatnet.
“A player of that level, you can spot the class from the first day… the first day you spot something special like Erling, one way or another. You can see it from the beginning,” Berntsen said.